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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: David Montgomery No. 59

David Montgomery comes in at 59 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

David Montgomery had a breakout season in 2020, as he surpassed expectations going over 1,500 total yards and finishing as the fourth best PPR back overall. Will he be able to put together back-to-back great fantasy seasons? We’ll take a look.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 59, David Montgomery, Chicago Bears, RB

Montgomery benefitted in 2020 with the early season ending injury to scat-back Tarik Cohen. And with little depth at the position, Montgomery was called to take on 301 touches. Only three other running back hit 300 touches last season.

Competition for touches

The biggest difference in 2021 from 2020 will be an increase in competition for touches for Montgomery. Cohen will be back while the Bears picked up Damien Williams and drafted Khalil Herbert in the sixth round. These moves aren’t going to keep Montgomery from being the lead back, but he should see a significant cut in receiving opportunities, which boosted his fantasy production last year.

Team offensive expectations

The Bears picked up Cowboys backup Andy Dalton in free agency and traded up to select Justin Fields in the first round of the draft. It’s anybody’s guess as to when Fields will take over, but we can’t expect inconsistencies with the offense until Fields is fully ingrained into the system.

What’s his upside?

We saw Montgomery’s upside last season. Could the team look to use him in a similar way this year? It’s possible, but unlikely. He would probably need another injury to Cohen and have Williams not be able to win much receiving work to reach that upside again.

What’s his downside?

As the starting back on a team that will look to run the ball, his downside isn’t as low as some, but if the offense as a whole sputters under Dalton and/or Fields while Montgomery loses receiving work, his downside will be much lower than his current ADP.

Projection

225 attempts, 1,000 yards, 6 touchdowns — 25 receptions, 200 yards, 1 touchdown